BASIC PARAGRAPH CONSTRUCTION A. Aleiss Strong paragraphs are a key to a well-developed argument. In each paragraph, the argument (or thesis) should have a topic sentence supported by facts, quotations, anecdotes, or examples. Each paragraph must relate to the essay’s main argument. Paragraphs should be a sign for the reader, clearly stating the point (usually at the beginning) and supporting it with “data.” Many students err by treating the topic sentence as a conclusion at the end of the paragraph. Try moving that same sentence to the top of the paragraph. Three points to keep in mind when writing paragraphs: 1. A well-constructed paragraph discusses only ONE topic. 2. Every paragraph must have a main sentence that connects the supporting sentences or data. 3. Paragraphs should be no more than eight to nine typed lines. One or two is too short; try for five to six as the norm. If your paragraph is too long, you’re either discussing more than one topic or it may be too wordy. Read the example below and identify the following:
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